The Chinese insurance market has grown at a furious pace in recent years. The Swiss Re Institute projects that China's share of global premiums will increase from 11% in 2018 to 20% by 2029, easily surpassing that of the United States, which is currently the leader in the US$5 trillion global market. China's strong economy, high levels of government spending, consumer awareness, and technological innovations are driving the nation's growth in the insurance sector.

Today, the biggest insurance companies in China rank among the largest companies in the world in terms of market capitalization. A.M. Best, a global rating agency, published a list of the top 25 largest insurance companies in the world by net premiums written (NPW) and 2017 non-banking assets. These are the top five Chinese insurance companies, according to A.M. Best.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Chinese insurance market has grown at a furious pace in recent years and will surpass that of the United States by 2029.
  • A strong economy, government investment, consumer awareness, and technology are fuelling China's growth in the insurance sector.
  • China's biggest insurance companies are among the largest companies in the world.


China Life Insurance (Group) Company

With a market capitalization of about $100 billion, China Life Insurance Co., Ltd. (NYSE: LFC) is the biggest insurance company in China and one of the top insurance companies in the world. NPW for China Life are $97.6 billion, according to A.M. Best. China Life traces its roots to the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. It operates life insurance and property and casualty insurance businesses, and it also offers asset management services and other financial services.

China Life maintains a substantial nationwide service network, with 1.8 million sales force channels reported in the company's 2018 annual report. The company operates 303 million long-term individual and group life insurance policies, annuity contracts, and long-term health insurance policies. As of 2019, China Life offered insurance services to over 500 million customers. The company is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.

Ping An Insurance (Group) of China Ltd.

Ping An of China was founded in 1988 and held its initial public offering (IPO) in 2004.  While the company began as a property and casualty insurance company, it has since expanded into the life insurance, banking, online financial services, and wealth management businesses with the stated goal of becoming a comprehensive financial services provider. It has a market capitalization of about $194.5 billion, according to Ycharts, and NPW of $90.3 billion, according to A.M. Best.  As at December 31, 2018, according to its annual report, the company employed 376,900 employees, of which 232,752 were in the insurance business. The company had 184 million customers in 2018. Ping An is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

China Pacific Insurance (Group) Company Ltd.

China Pacific Insurance Group is an integrated insurance provider offering property and casualty insurance, life insurance, and reinsurance products, as well as asset management and investment services. NPW for the company are $40.8 billion, according to A.M. Best. As of 2019, China Pacific 41 branches, over 2,480 grass-roots offices, and over 10,000 sales agents. China Pacific traces its roots to 1991. It was listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2007 and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2009. It has a market capitalization of close to $23.74 billion.

People's Insurance Company of China Group

People's Insurance Company of China Group was established in 1949. The company has NPW of $68.9 billion and a market cap of $265.3 billion, according to Reuters. As at the end of 2019, the Company had 186,787 employees. 

Along with subsidiaries, the company is mainly engaged in property insurance, reinsurance, health insurance, life insurance, pension insurance, Hong Kong insurance, and operating insurance. Its most substantial subsidiary is PICC Property and Casualty Company, which sells a wide variety of non-life insurance products, including auto, homeowners, commercial property, and agricultural policies. People's Insurance Company of China Group is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

New China Life Insurance

New China Life Insurance Company was founded in 1996 and has quickly grown into a top-five company in the industry. While its primary business remains life insurance, the company also has growing business interests in the investment industry and the health care industry. New China Life Insurance has a market cap of $133.32 billion. In 2019, the company reported 1.9 million in its sales force. New China Life has more than 32,000 individual customers and 86,000 institutional customers. The company manages and deploys insurance funds through its subsidiaries including Asset Management Company and Asset Management Company (Hong Kong). New China Life was simultaneously listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2011.